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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pam Bondi takes hard right after leaving courthouse

Bondi2 MIAMI LAKES — Pam Bondi stands at a podium, looking and sounding a lot like the prosecutor she was for more than 18 years. She's making a case, but not like any she has made in court.

"Washington has run roughshod over our jobs, our health care and our welfare," she tells a group of fellow Republicans gathered for lunch at a steak house. "Obama and Pelosi are out of control."

This is not the Bondi who put away murderers, or the woman who made headlines with her personal legal fight over a Hurricane Katrina rescue dog. The Tampa native surprised friends, colleagues and even herself in December by declaring that she wanted to be Florida's next attorney general. She quit her $107,000-a-year job as a senior litigator and spokeswoman for the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office to enter the combat sport of politics.

Once she jumped in, the evolution from prosecutor to politician moved so fast and with such ideological fervor that it jolted those who knew her. "I expected to see a more moderate candidate," said La Gaceta publisher Patrick Manteiga, echoing a common sentiment around town.

(Story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:40am]


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